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UND / Criminal Justice / CJ 342 / What does congress do for federal courts?

What does congress do for federal courts?

What does congress do for federal courts?


School: University of North Dakota
Department: Criminal Justice
Course: Criminal Procedure
Professor: Kristi venhuizen
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: Criminal Justice
Cost: 25
Name: Week 5 Notes
Description: These notes cover the 1st part of Chapter 2: Organization of the Criminal Justice System
Uploaded: 02/26/2016
6 Pages 119 Views 2 Unlocks

Chapter 2: Organization of the Criminal Justice System

What does congress do for federal courts?

∙ Federalism – constitutional division between the national and state governments ∙ 51 Criminal Justice systems in the US have legislative bodies, law enforcement agencies,  prosecutors, defense attorneys, courts of law, and corrections agencies

∙ All systems subject to the US Constitution


∙ Primary responsibility for enacting laws

o 50 state legislatures and US Congress

o When conflict between federal and state statutes the federal statute prevails ▪ Federal is the supreme decision and will always win Don't forget about the age old question of What is defined as the satisfaction derived by a consumer from the consumption of a good?

∙ US Congress

o Enumerated powers: those specifically listed in Article 1, Section 8

What is the difference between annotated and unannotated statutes?

▪ Tax and borrow money

▪ Punish for counterfeiting and piracies on the High Seas

▪ Commerce clause

o Implied powers: “Necessary and Proper”

▪ Under this doctrine there is little over which Congress is absolutely bared from  legislature

o Congress has used these provisions to establish a host of federal crimes

o Congress may not pass any laws that violate constitutional limitations

∙ Publications of Federal Statutes:

o US Statutes at Large

o US Code or Official Code of the Laws of the US

▪ Title 18 (the book that gives the federal criminal offenses)

o US Codes Annotated (USCA)

∙ State Legislatures: We also discuss several other topics like What controls insolation?

o Required by US Constitution

o Bicameral Institutions

o Nebraska (is the only state to have) unicameral institutions  Don't forget about the age old question of What is oxymyoglobin and what color is it associated with?

∙ Publications of State Statutes:

o Session laws

o State Codes

▪ Annotated state codes (have cases that contributed to or had something to do  with each statute) Don't forget about the age old question of What is neuromuscular junction?

o N.D.C.C. (North Dakota Century Codes)(All states call their statutes something different) ▪ Title 12.1 (book that has ND statutes in it)

∙ American Revolution:

o States adopt Common Law

o Legislatures eventually codify common law by enacting statutes

o US Congress never adopted Common Law

∙ Rules of Statuary Interpretation:

o Plain meaning rule – “Where the language is plain and admits of no more than one  meaning the duty of interpretation doesn’t arise…”

o Cannons of Construction to determine legislative intent

▪ Criminal Statutes must be strictly construed in order to give fair notice

∙ Void for vagueness

▪ Implied exception

∙ Commonsense approach to determine meaning

∙ Common law definitions

∙ Legislative history

Law enforcement agencies

∙ Charged with enforcing the criminal law

o Arrest criminals

o Prevent crimes

∙ Historical development:

o Shire reeves If you want to learn more check out What did adam smith feel about government intervention in the economy?

o Bobbies

o Sheriffs

o Mid-1800s professional police departments

∙ National level


▪ Located in the Department of Justice (DOJ)

▪ Enforce criminal laws adopted by Congress

▪ Most powerful of federal law enforcement agencies

o US Marshalls Don't forget about the age old question of What was the role of a prophet in old testament times?

▪ Oldest unit of federal law enforcement

▪ Execute orders of federal courts

▪ Transfer prisoners

o Nearly 50 other federal agencies

▪ ATF, IRS, BIA, DEA, TVA, NPS, Forest Services, US Capitol Police, US Mint, Secret  Service, DHS

∙ State and local level:

o State agencies

▪ Support local law enforcement

▪ Enforce specific areas of the law

▪ State Highway Patrol, Game and Fish

o Sheriffs

▪ Usually elected

▪ Chief law enforcement agent in their counties

o Police Departments

▪ Assist prosecutors


▪ Peace Keeping responsibilities

o University police, airport police, seaport police

o Community policing

▪ Community relations

▪ Education

▪ Earn trust and confidence

Prosecutorial agencies

∙ Prosecutors decide whether to bring charges

o Enormous discretion

o Determine severity of punishment

∙ Historical background:

o Originally considered private matters

o 13th Century the King’s Counsel would pursue crimes considered offenses against the  Crown

∙ Modern England

o Public prosecutor – prosecutes crime with importance to the government o Barristers – hired by police agencies

▪ May represent the police in one case and the defendant in the next

o The public prosecutor system became the model for the Attorney General in the US ▪ Colonial America the Assistant Attorney Generals handled local prosecutions  until the states became independent

∙ Federal prosecutors:

o Attorney General

▪ Head of the DOJ

▪ Appointed by the President

o US Attorneys

▪ Appointed by the President

▪ Hire Assistant US Attorney

o Independent Counsel

▪ Appointed by Congress to investigate alleged misconduct by high government  officials

▪ Ex: Watergate, Kenneth Star – Whitewater

∙ State and local prosecutors:

o Attorney General

▪ Elected in ND

▪ Hires Assistant Attorney Generals

o State’s Attorney

▪ Elected in ND

▪ Hire Assistant State’s Attorneys

o County/Municipal Attorneys

▪ Prosecute for violation of local ordinances

▪ Represent in civil lawsuits

∙ Discretion:

o Determine level of offense to charge

o Nolle Prosequi (decide they are not going to prosecute)

Defense Attorneys

∙ Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to representation in all criminal matters whether you  hire your own attorney or qualify for a court appointed attorney

∙ Indigent Defense

o Gideon v Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963) – required states to provide defense  attorneys for those who can’t afford it

o Court appointment of public defenders

o Office of Public Defender

▪ More specialized  

▪ Provided budgets

∙ Role of Defense Attorneys

o Zealously represent the client

o Ensure the client’s constitutional rights protected

o Advise client of options


∙ Grand Jury System created to limit the power of prosecutors

o Determine whether sufficient evidence to bring charges against a person ∙ Federal Grand Juries:

o Fifth Amendment

o 16-23 people on federal grand jury

∙ State Grand Juries

o States are not bound to the grand jury system

▪ Hurtado v California, 110 US 516 (1884)

o 12-23 people on state grand jury

∙ When used?  

o Case is of great public/political significance

o Investigative power is useful

o Works more quickly that preliminary hearing

o More privacy for witnesses

∙ True Bill – decision to hand down an indictment

o 12 votes required in federal court

o States require a majority vote

∙ No Bill – decision to refuse to indict

∙ History:

o England abolished in 1930s

▪ Return of indictments became automatic

o States replaced with “prosecutor’s information”

∙ N.D.C.C. 29-10.1-01 – grand jury

∙ N.D.C.C. 29-10.1-02 – grand jury

∙ N.D.C.C. 29-10.1-34 – grand jury

∙ N.D.C.C. 29-10.2-02 – state grand jury

∙ Trial juries

o Sixth Amendment – “speedy and public”

o Seventh Amendment – trial by jury in civil suits

o Federal right to jury trial extends to states

▪ Duncan v Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145 (1960)

o All state constitutions provide for trial by jury in criminal cases

o 12 person juries at common law, federal juries, state capital cases

o Supreme court has approved 6 person juries in noncapital felony prosecutions The Courts

∙ Responsible for determining the factual basis, legal sufficiency of the charges, and that  defendants are provided due process

∙ Trial courts

o Conduct criminal trials

o Ascertain facts

o Determine guilty or non-guilty

o Impose punishment

∙ Appellate Courts:

o Hear appeals from the trial courts

o Concerned with matters of law

o Correct legal errors

∙ Jurisdiction:

o Subject matter

o Personal

Federal Court System

∙ Article III, Section 1 of the US Constitution provides that “[t]he judicial power of the US shall be  vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Court as the Congress may from time to time  ordain and establish.”

∙ Judiciary Act of 1789

o Created the federal court system

∙ Judiciary Act of 1801

o Supreme court justices were required to “ride circuit”

o 1891 separate appellate courts created

∙ US District Court

o 94 federal judicial districts

o Principal trial court in the federal system

o Judges appointed for life by the President

o Handle prosecutions for violators of federal statutes

∙ US Court of Appeals

o 12 plus 1 federal circuit

▪ 8th circuit

o Hear appeals from the US District Courts

o Panel of 3

o En banc hearings

o Judges appointed for life by the President

o 8th Circuit: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and  Arkansas

▪ Main chambers – St. Louis, MO

o US Supreme Court

▪ 9 justices appointed for life by the President

▪ Writ of Certiorari

∙ Decisions of the lower federal courts and many decision of the highest  

state courts

o 9 Supreme Court Justices (currently only 8):

▪ Chief John Roberts

▪ Antonin Scalia (deceased)

▪ Anthony Kennedy

▪ Sonia Sotomayor

▪ Clarence Thomas

▪ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

▪ Stephan Breyer

▪ Samuel Alito

▪ Elena Kagan

∙ Publications:

o United States Reports (US)

o Supreme Court Reported (S. Ct.)

o Lawyers Edition 2d (L. Ed. 2d)

∙ Military Tribunals

o Courts martial

o Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)

▪ Military Jurisdiction depends solely on whether an accused is a military member ▪ Solorio v U.S., 483 US 435 (1987)

o Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

o Military Commissions Act of 2006

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